EFCC presses fresh charges against Adoke
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a fresh seven-count charge revolving around money laundering.
The ex-minister was prosecuted alongside Aliyu Abubakar.
The defendants had earlier been arraigned and are facing trial at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Gwagwalada over their involvement in the controversial Malabo oil deal.
Upon their arraignment yesterday, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.
The EFCC is accusing the duo of making payments in naira and dollar to the tune of N900 million into Adoke’s accounts at about September 2013 in violation of several provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
However, after taking their pleas, counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mr. Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand the defendants in his client’s custody pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.
But lawyers to the pair informed the court of their separate bail applications before it.
The attorney to the prosecution equally confirmed receipt of the applications and informed the court of a counter-affidavit he filed in opposition to the move.
Arguing the bail request, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) urged the court to grant the proposal on liberal terms and affordable conditions.
The senior lawyer said: “The first defendant voluntarily returned to the country. There is a statement attached to show that he returned to the country voluntarily.
“He did not run away. We have attached an exhibit to show that he went for his Master’s programme abroad.
“We have deposed to the affidavit about his health condition. The prosecution themselves brought him to court from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) near Jabi in Abuja this morning (yesterday).”
He also pleaded that his client be taken to the Kuje Correction Centre pending when he meets his bail conditions to “avoid the mental and psychological torture he suffered in EFCC custody.”
Ozekhome added: “My Lord, we pray that he be granted bail on liberal and affordable terms and conditions so that he can take care of himself.
“As you can see, the first defendant, who is less than 60, is already bent with age.”
After listening to the parties in the matter, the judge reserved ruling on the bail applications as well as the place the defendants would be remanded pending perfection of their bail conditions.
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